Many people dislike the introduction of technology into their church. They may feel that it removes that comfortable, personal touch. Yet I contest there are ways to make a process digital, but still personable. Show how using technology does not mean only working with a machine. By using trained church members, you can help digital interactions. Show how to extend the church experience throughout the week with social media.
Do you have an extra desktop or laptop computer? Perhaps someone donated one to help out your office. You can set up a small workstation in a public setting for special tasks. Here you can walk visitors through your digital guest registry. Members can get help with email newsletter signups. Be sure to post a team member by the kiosk to help with any problems. Yet, respect privacy. Keep your distance until someone requests help.
If you have the budget for mobile devices, use them for an even more personal experience. There are now multiple generations of tablets. If a member upgrades a device, ask for donations. You will not be able to use these devices for the same functions as your kiosks. This is because data entry on a tablet is more difficult. Yet basic interactions like adding a phone number, or taking a survey are easy. Just remember privacy concerns if you are using a team member to help with this. You do not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable during the process.
At the time of this writing, the annual Social Media Sunday awareness day is just around the corner. Consider hosting an event similar to it. Ask that members bring their devices to church. Offer classes to show them how to use various social media platforms. Provide one-on-one workshops to help them setup their devices. Show all the ways they can connect with your church. Hopefully they will see all the ways they can extend relationships into digital spaces. If you are a multi-site church, this may be a great way to make your church feel smaller. By connecting online, fellow members can experience community in a digital space.
Do you have some especially cordial tech team members? Perhaps a few technically savvy front door greeters? They would be perfect candidates to help connect your congregation and visitors. If you did not pick up in the article, there are two major concerns. The first is acquiring the technology. It may be cheaper to rely on donations. Yet, your support efforts will increase if there are multiple platforms. Your second concern is privacy. Display privacy statements if you are collecting information. Ask team members to respect the privacy of anyone they are assisting. The goal is to add a human touch to helping people with digital processes. Use technology and your church teams to spread the Gospel to the many digital platforms that need to hear it.
For even more information about Social Media Sunday, check out the #SMS15 Facebook Page
This article was inspired a Chick-fil-A drive-through. There they had associates outside with iPads taking orders. Thanks to Emily for allowing me to snap her picture after she took my order!